Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Novium

In Museums, new content on November 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I’m currently working on a project for a brand new museum, set to open in 2012. It’s called The Novium* – a new building in the heart of Chichester to replace the existing Chichester District Museum.

There’s an article all about what they’re up to, with quotes from me, on the BBC website. (I happened to be down there last week and got chatting to the journalist who was preparing the piece.)

My work on the project has been around the interpretation for the new museum. I worked with staff in Chichester back in February, helping them to think about the tone and style of the text for the displays. Now I’m back helping them with the final push, looking over the text as it is being drafted and doing some little bits of research and writing to help out.

Apart from the early planning phases, I find this part of a project one of the most exciting. The objects are selected, the text is coming together and the designs are coming through from the studio. Everyone is being creative and using their expertise to create a first-class museum product that I’m sure visitors will find really interesting and engaging when the doors open next year.

Watch this space for more updates on the project.

* the name NOVIUM comes from the Roman name for Chichester, NOVIOMAGNUS REGINORUM.


The future of libraries

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on November 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm

The current trend for reducing council spending on arts and heritage has spread beyond museums and into the to the world of libraries. Unlike museums, local authorities in the UK have a statutory obligation to the public to provide a library service – just as they do housing, education and refuse collection.

But that’s not stopped some councils in England thinking about alternative ways of delivering library services to the public. I’ve written an article about two councils in London  (Wandsworth and Croydon) who are in the process of contracting out their entire library service to an external provider.

It can’t be much fun trying to balance the books of a local authority at the moment and it’s interesting to see how some councils are coming up with creative ways of funding their core services. But are there also concerns about how this will go down with the public?

Read the article on Museum [Insider] to find out.